Jack Montgomery, his wife Lesley, and Elizabeth Hayes performed at the Warren County Public Library Thursday, December 10 to a crowd of over 80 adults and children. Jack also read “Twas the Night before Christmas” to the kids.
Monthly Archives: December 2009
The Registrar’s Office was created in 1909 and served the dual purpose of admissions/registrar and bookkeeping for the school early on. The University Archives holds a complete run of undergraduate catalogs and commencement programs from the office. Commencement programs list the names of all graduates. The first graduate catalog in the collection is from 1941, the next is 1962. Please contact us if you have graduate catalogs published between 1942 and 1961.
Other less, well-known records include a short run of baccalaureate programs 1911-1918 and 1932-1965 and commencement schedules. In the early days, commencement activities included baccalaureate service, graduating exercises, alumni symposium, concerts, receptions, chapel services for alumni and an excursion to Mammoth Cave.
Student registers include student name, date enrolled, address, county and in some cases religious affiliation and parents’ names. They can also contain the number of course hours taken. The archives does not currently house student grades. These records are extant for the years 1907-1949; and 1956-1960. There is also a statistical file which gives information regarding enrollment numbers.
The records of the Registrar’s Office have been processed and finding aids posted in TopScholar. These records are available for researchers to use in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room.
In 1890, seventeen-year-old Jonnie McFarland of Bristow, Kentucky shared a hobby in common with many other young women: she kept an autograph book, a collection of signatures of girlfriends, siblings, visitors and beaux. In an age when good penmanship was considered not only a valuable skill but a sign of discipline, industriousness and upright character, autograph books were popular keepsakes. Not only did they provide a forum in which to display one’s fanciest script, they allowed contributors to show their imagination, artistic ability and literary wit with snippets of poetry, aphorisms, Latin phrases, drawings and sketches.
WKU’s Special Collections Library holds at least 50 autograph books, including that of Miss McFarland, in its collections. Contributors to Jonnie’s book often added words of affection or encouragement over their signatures; one even wrote a message using the dots and dashes of Morse code. Common to the scribes, however, was the wish to be remembered. “When the leaves of your album are yellow with age,” one wrote Jonnie, “and the name I write here is dim on the page / Still think of me kindly and do not forget / Wherever I am I love you yet.”
A finding aid for Jonnie McFarland’s autograph book can be downloaded here.
To view finding aids for some (but by no means all) of our autograph books, click here and type “autograph books” or “autograph albums” in the search box.
On December 10, 2009, WKU Libraries celebrated its annual holiday as a tradition in the beautiful Kentucky Building with a band and good food. As part of the tradition, Dean Binder and Department Heads gave out the Margie Helm Awards to those excelled in the past year.
This year’s Faculty Award goes to Sandy Staebell; Staff Award to Jennifer Wilson; Team Award to the Java City Entertainment Committee consisting of Jack Montgomery, Dan Forrest, Michael Franklin, Jeannie Butler, Glenda White, Jennifer Wilson, and Mike Binder; and the Student Award to student assistants Matthew Mattingly from the Department of Library Special Collections, Jennifer Earheart from the Department of Library Technical Services, Megan Derr and Danie Peach from the Department of Library Public Services, and Kelly Lafferty from the Dean’s Office.
On the afternoon of December 9th, 2009, WKU Libraries welcomed Second Secretary Liu Jiangyi and Attache Liu Xiao from the Education Office of the Embassy of People’s Republic of China at Washington DC. They were on an inspection tour on behalf of the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in Beijing as WKU is one of the applicants for hosting a Confucius Institute. If the application were approved, Hanban would donate 3,000 items of Chinese materials in the form of journals, monographs and videos to be housed on the first floor of the Helm Library adjacent to Java City.
The Chinese officials were taken to the Libraries by Amy Eckhardt, Director of the Office of Scholar Development, and Liping Chen, Director of Flagship Chinese Program, Honors College. Receiving the Chinese guests were Mike Binder, Dean of Libaries; Brian Coutts, Head of Department of Library Public Services; Connie Foster, Head of Library Technical Services; Haiwang Yuan, Special Assistant to the Dean for Web & Emerging Technologies; Bryan Carson, Special Assistant to the Dean for Grants & Projects; Jack Montgomery, Collection Services Coordinator; Jennifer Wilson, Coordinator of Marketing; and Doug Wiles, Library Security Officer. The party then went to the Faculty House for an reception.
E.A. Diddle came to WKU in 1922 as athletic director. He coached the football team through 1929 and the baseball team until 1957. But as most people know, he came to fame waving a red towel while coaching the Hilltopper basketball team to a 759-302 career record.
A collection of records regarding Diddle has been created from a variety of sources including the Diddle family. These records, housed in University Archives, include early athletic department correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks and interviews.
Professor Haiwang Yuan’s book, Princess Peacock: Tales from the Other Peoples of China (Libraries Unlimited, 2008), has been selected as one of the American Folklore Society Children’s Section 2009 Aesop Accolade Award recipients. Yuan serves as WKU Libraries Professor and Special Assistant to the Dean for Web & Emerging Technologies.
“This well-organized and richly documented volume is designed to give the American reader a fair view of China as a multi-ethic nation of diverse cultures…The contents of Princess Peacock provide extremely valuable material for the families of the many Chinese children adopted by Americans by introducing and reinforcing knowledge of their ethnic origins,” said the 2009 Aesop Award Committee.
Allen County native Eugene A. Porter (1841-1922) was a farmer and entrepreneur who, together with his three brothers, developed the “corn cob crusher,” a machine that processed corn into livestock feed. According to a manual at the Filson Historical Society, by 1891 E. A. Porter & Bros. corn crushers were manufactured and sold throughout the South and Midwest for prices ranging from $125 to $165.
Available at WKU’s Special Collections Library is a collection of correspondence dating from 1892 to 1895 documenting Porter’s manufacture, marketing and sale of the corn cob crusher. In letters to Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska and elsewhere, he relays orders to local manufacturers and shippers, licenses dealers, settles accounts and handles complaints. Porter’s correspondence is also interesting because it is preserved in two letter press books containing about 1,000 sheets each of tissue-thin, linen-fiber paper. Porter had written each original letter using special ink, which was then transferred to the moistened tissue paper by the use of a press. The absorbency and transparency of the paper allowed the script to be read from the front side, thus preserving a copy of the letter for Porter’s records.
A finding aid for the Eugene A. Porter collection can be downloaded here.
More than 1,200 people participated in this year’s Christmas in Kentucky event hosted at the Kentucky Library & Museum this past Saturday, December 5. Children visited with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Kentucky Room while others watched Mr. Magic in the Western Room. Big Red floated throughout the building greeting families while the Western Kentucky men’s vocal ensemble, The Red Shirts, sang in several locations. Other activities included ornament making, a scavenger hunt, a cake walk, theatre presentations, and talks with Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln.
GaleCengage now allows unlimited user access to Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI) and Times Digital Archives at no additional cost. This initiative means no turnaways when trying to access these databases that previously were limited to 1-3 users. Usually when a library increases user access, the publisher pricing model increases significantly, especially for unlimited access–the most costly access configuration.
This move is a response to tight economic times for libraries and publishers. WKU also has the Testing & Education Reference Center, already with unlimited users.
Connie Foster, Head
Library Technical Services
December 8, 2009